“Talk to Me” is the latest horror offering scheduled to release on 28th July, A24’s chilling film for the summers. Critics have called it “a terrifying clash of the living and the dead” and “utterly distressing”.
Currently, the film holds an impressive 95% score on Rotten Tomatoes in its opening weekend, making it the highest-rated horror film of the year so far. Meanwhile, related videos on TikTok associated with “Talk to Me” have been viewed over 60 million times.
After a breakout premiere at Sundance, A24 acquired the Australian film “Nirmana Bandhu” directed by YouTube creators and brothers, Danny and Michael Filipou, known as RackaRacka. The first feature film offers a gripping and true horror story with a modern twist: a takeover of the second world.
Michael shared his thoughts, saying, “I’ve always been drawn to possessions and extraordinary things. When you watch videos of people being haunted by ghosts and witness these terrifying things happening, how much of it is a mental perception? How much are you telling yourself you’re hearing or experiencing things contrary to reality?”
The story revolves around Kishori Mia (Sophie Wilde), who, instead of dealing with the distance that developed between her and her father (Markus) after her mother’s death, turns towards her best friend Jedd’s (Alexandra Jensen) family for comfort. Mia is struggling, visibly weak, and eager to seize any opportunity to escape her mind, even for a brief moment.
When Mia starts watching videos on social media of her classmates holding a piece of white clay and seemingly being possessed by spirits made from it, she decides to investigate the phenomenon. At the next party, she becomes the first woman to voluntarily hold the allegedly haunted, severed limb – just for a spin.
The rules of the game are simple: light a candle, hold hands, say the words “talk to me,” and invite the spirit inside for 90 seconds. But after 90 seconds, what happens? Mia asks before her first journey. Her companion, Helle (Zoe Terex), one of the caretakers of the hand, answers, “They will want to stop.”
An entity enters Mia, transforming her face into a monstrous mask, and when her companions take their cell phones out of the camera to post online, she experiences a unique possession. However, things go awry, and the emotion lingers longer than expected, leading Mia down a path of terrifying and violent events.
According to Philips, creating a central pretavadhita (virtual reality) object was a physical representation of a relationship, an embedded decision in personal experience. When he was 16, Danny was severely injured in a car accident and couldn’t stop shaking until his sister sat beside him and held his hand.
The trembling ceased.They remember that “the power of that moment and the strength of the touch stayed with me,” and “the touch of the one I love pulled me out of it.”
The passage discusses how “The Exorcist” works as an exercise for the social media generation and serves as an inspiration to filmmakers. The quote from Dani emphasizes that all the terrifying scenes in “The Exorcist” are grounded in the characters. It portrays the mother’s reactions as very real, like when she tries to figure out what is happening with her daughter and ultimately surrenders to seeking help from the church to exorcise the supernatural presence because there is no other possible answer. Dani aims to bring characters that feel authentic, just like the mother’s portrayal.
Michael says, “Unlike The Exorcist, the characters in Talk to Me immediately accept that demonic possession is real and use it for entertainment. It’s just like what kids nowadays might be doing.
In the tradition of other possession films like The Exorcist, The Evil Dead, and Hereditary, Talk to Me is also filled with gut-wrenching scenes – courtesy of some incredibly practical effects – that test seasoned viewers’ sensibilities. It’s a chilling delight for horror fans. However, Philip says they don’t want their anger to be at its peak. While editing the film, they cut out a David.
Danny says the Cronenberg-esque scene in the film, which plays a crucial role in the film’s climax for 15 seconds, feels like “a little bit of a tease.” “We always wanted our terror to be implied in the character, and not feel like we’re grateful for gratuitous benefit. We want there to be some meaning behind it.”
Directors of Talk to Me on Their Genuinely Terrifying Horror Debut